ING survey

Women less confident, choose safer investments

Inequalities in wealth can be explained by investment behaviour that still differs according to gender. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Inequalities in wealth can be explained by investment behaviour that still differs according to gender. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Women tend to choose safer and lower-yielding investments than men in Luxembourg, according to a survey by the ING bank, which also found that relationships with money are unequally built up from an early age.

ING investigated saving and investing attitudes in a European study with 12,772 participants, including 516 in Luxembourg with gender identified as a factor.

When asked what they would recommend as the best long-term investment (ten years), women cited fewer options than men (1.7 compared to 2 on average). Real estate and individual pension funds are popular in both groups. In contrast, 29% of men cited higher-yielding assets such as funds, compared to only 10% of women, who were more attracted to safer, low-potential investments such as savings accounts.

ING identified several causes for this disparity, including self-confidence. While 30% of men rated their financial knowledge at 8 or more on a scale of 0 to 10, only 14% of women gave themselves a high ranking. Regarding the ability to invest, women are 19 times more likely than men to work part-time, leaving them with a lower salary, the report said.

Differences in attitudes to money are built up from an early age, the report found. Nearly half of men (48%) said they had regularly received allowances, compared with 40% of women. One in five women said they had never received any pocket money. More men (19%) than women (12%) received pocket money for doing chores at home or outside of the home (23% of men compared to 16% of women).

“To really break the loop, investing in childhood and adolescent financial education, especially for girls, and ensuring an equal opportunity early on to develop an affinity with paid work and money are promising avenues, as necessary as they are overlooked,” the report said about gender inequalities in investing.

The crisis has no impact on the way people save

Elsewhere in the report, the bank said: “Neither age, nor education, working status, or region make any significant direct difference in how we save and invest, except in the obvious sense that they affect how much we can save – our saving capacity.”

Luxembourgers do not differ from other nationalities either. They are just slightly more likely to favour investment in real estate (72%) than respondents from other countries (66%).

The crisis has not had too much of an impact on the way people save in the grand duchy. Only 12% of households said they saved less because of the crisis, compared to nearly 25% in Europe. While 32% of Luxembourg respondents said they saved more than they did before the pandemic, 73% attributed their savings to not having the opportunity to spend.